Remember game four of the NBA Finals, when the Celtics trailed the Lakers heavily in LA? They had just lost the first game in LA and it appeared they were headed to a second defeat. KG was having trouble getting his opportunities, Shuttlesworth couldn't find his mark, and the Lakers were growing stronger by the minute.
To quote the commercial: The NBA...where James Posey happens.
Posey comes off the bench, hits four three-pointers, sinks all four free-throw attempts, and locks down per usual on the defensive side. His presence alone arguably changed the momentum of the crowd and the game. In the end, he went on to score 18 and lead the C's to their only win in LA.
While this year the C's nucleus is returning (KG, Ray, Rajon Rondo, Perk, and The Truth) they are missing the consistent lead-by-example style of play that Posey brings to the table.
To answer the question asked in the title of this article: A LOT.
His experience is invaluable: he plays lock down defense, consistently grabbed six or seven rebounds a game during the playoffs, hits difficult threes, and rejuvenates his teammates.
He is well liked by his teammates, stays out of trouble with the law (minus a minor DUI in 2007), and more importantly is respected by the entire Celtics organization. Seldom do you find a player who is fiercely respected by team mates, front office owners, and opponents at the same time.
Not to mention, his experience includes being a member of both the 2006 NBA Champion Miami Heat and 2008 Champion Boston Celtics.
The most impressive part about Posey, in my opinion, is that he does all of his work off of the bench. And he always has.
Remember back to his college days at Xavier. His award list included: the 1998 A10 Most Valuable Player, 1999 A-10 Defensive Player of the Year, two time A-10 Sixth Man, two time A-10 First Team, and he led Xavier to its first ever A-10 Championship.
He achieved all of that without EVER being a consistent starter on the team.
In many games, both college and pro, he was more talented than other players and often times the most talented on the floor. He chose to contribute from the bench. He chose the team over himself.
Never complaining. Never arguing. Posey comes off the bench when his team needs him, and he leaves his heart on the floor.
With the flash in the NBA now-a-days, its rare to find an athlete who is willing to devalue individual accolades and dedicate his entirety to the team.
With that being said, his presence makes the Hornets (who are already a scary team) an even bigger presence in the 2009 NBA Championship hunt.
Hats off to true team players like Posey.